JCHR Report & Updates 2022

BBC Documentary – September 2022

Interview with Pat, Judy, Liz and Veronica, whose lives have been deeply affected by these issues.
The piece starts at 07:40:

The Listening Project

The Listening project – Interview with Veronica (80) and Eve (18), who were both unmarried when they became pregnant.
They compare their experiences and the contrast between Veronica’s traumatic experiences in the 1960s
and Eve’s much more recent challenges and the support she received. Starts at 07:30mins.

Documentary: If You Love Your Baby…
The Fight for an Apology for Forced Adoptions.

JCHR Report – 15th July, 2022

Media coverage

| Report – JCHR | BBC Breakfast | Today Programme | Channel 4 | Channel 5 | BBC Woman’s Hour | ITV News | Central ITV News | Times Radio | Radio Sussex | BBC News (UK) | STV News | The Sunday Post | The Telegraph | Metro | Sky News | In the Papers |

The Today Programme
BBC Radio 4
BBC Breakfast:
Calls for the Government to formally apologise for forced Adoptions
Channel 5 News
Cathy Newman – Times Radio
Interview with Veronica Smith
on BBC Radio Sussex
A call by a parliamentary committee for an apology to women forced to give up their babies for adoption is “empowering” to those impacted, STV News has heard.
It follows an inquiry which concluded that hundreds of thousands of unmarried women in the UK were “shamed” and “coerced” into giving up their babies in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Across Scotland, it has been estimated that around 250,000 families were affected by the historical practice.

Jill Killington – press interviews

Jill Killington, 72, lives in Leeds with her husband, Richard, 76.
A retired university administrator, she was forced to give up her first baby, a boy, for adoption in 1968. She has two other children, a son and daughter aged 47 and 46.
The TelegraphClick here to read full article.

A single mother at 16, I was forced by my parents to give up my baby for adoption.
When I found out I was pregnant at the age of 16, I was shocked.
It was 1967 and I had been in a steady relationship with my 17-year-old boyfriend for six months by that point.
When I told him, he was actually excited.
Metro.co.ukClick here to read the full article.

Sky News


In the Papers:

The Guardian – Victims of historic forced adoption deserve apology

The Telegraph – 185,000 victims of forced adoption deserve apology

Shropshire Star – Government should apologise to unmarried mothers railroaded into adoptions

Top Wire News – UK owes an apology for the grave wrongs of forced adoptions

Express and Star – Government should apologise to unmarried mothers railroaded into adoptions

The Argus – Government should apologise to unmarried mothers railroaded into adoptions

Update – Evidence Session – 25th May 2022

The final evidence session of the JCHR took place on 25th May, and was well attended by many of those whose lives have been deeply affected by these issues.

Witnesses included Nadhim Zahawi, MP, who is Secretary for State, Department of Education;, Sarah Jennings, Deputy Director of Adoption, Family Justice and Care leavers, Department of Education.

The session was broadcast and can be watched online via this link: Committees – UK Parliament.

Update – Oral Evidence – 27 April, 2022

Over 40 mothers and adoptees attended the JCHR round table event at Portcullis House, Westminster. Each table had a member of the committee to listen to them. We had Joanna Cherry MP for Edinburgh South. I sat with other mothers and  related our experiences of being pregnant and thereafter losing our children to adoption. The shock and horror on Joanna’s face was very evident. This was duplicated at other tables.  There was discussion about what we wanted the Government to do re an Apology and what improved post adoption services they should provide.

One of the adoptees reported: ‘Florence Eshalomi MP for Vauxhall was on our table and chaired it well, though I’d be interested to find out the depth of her understanding (some of the discussion afterwards centred around understanding – as adoptees we readily understand each other, and we agreed it was an all too rare tonic).
We were given plenty of opportunity to express ourselves and I think we did it pretty well. It was notable how much we agreed with each other, to the extent that one of the committee members was surprised we’d never met each other before. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to listen to the mothers’ experience.’

 The meeting was not filmed but there was a note taker at each table. A report will be written and the next stage is outlined below by the Select Committee Engagement Team:

“The Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi MP, will be appearing in front of the Committee at a public oral evidence session on Wednesday, 25 May 2022. While timing is yet to be confirmed, sessions generally start at 3pm. (The hearing will also be available on parliament TV for those unable to attend in person, and on that website after the hearing.) If you are interested in attending, please keep an eye on the JCHR website for further details – including the confirmed time, when known –https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/93/human-rights-joint-committee/

Update 22 April, 2022

We have now compiled a list of Recommendations for the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
They will be delivered at the next Adoption Roundtable Event on 27th April, 2022.
The Recommendations are available as a PDF – please click here to download a copy.

Update – 21 March 2022

Adoption Roundtable Event
The Joint Committee on Human Rights is holding an event to hear from mothers whose babies were taken away for adoption in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s, from the people who were adopted and from others with experience of adoption then, such as adoptive parents and social workers. The Committee is asking those with relevant lived experience to get in touch if they would like to attend.
If you’d like to take part, please visit this page on their website to register.

Moving statement from Liz Harvie
Last week, Liz Harvie spoke in Parliament about the painful impact of the policy of taking babies from unmarried mothers. For more on this, please read this article was published in the Guardian on Sunday 20th March.

If you’re unable to access the article directly, you can download it as a PDF, here.

Written evidence from Dr. Michael Lambert
Dr Michael Lambert has submitted detailed written evidence which casts light on many of the issues we have campaigned about for years. The full text of his submission is available here.

Update – 10th March, 2022

The next session of the Parliamentary Inquiry is now set to take place on Wednesday 16th March 2022
If you wish to attend the meeting, please note that the designated Committee Room holds a maximum of 48 people. This includes Committee Members and any ancillary staff, so space will be very limited.

The session will be broadcast live then available as a recording, as with the first meeting.
Please use this link to watch online:

Two Mothers have been selected to give evidence to the Committee, and two Adoptees.
Questions they are likely to be asked are still being drawn up for approval.

As soon as any further information is available, we will let you know.